A Sustainable Future for Quebec
The growing risk of climate change
Global warming could cause cataclysmic changes in weather that would devastate the world’s water and food supply by 2050, according to the recently released IPCC draft report. In Quebec and around the world, the time to act is now.
As a consumer behaviour researcher, I help discover what motivates sustainable change in people – and how society can use those levers to integrate sustainable practices into the enterprise value chain.
What I’ve learned is that sustainability is about much more than reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; it is a holistic commitment to addressing today’s needs without compromising those of future generations. It’s about building a fair, equitable and viable world for everyone.
Both businesses and individuals have an important role to play. Quebec companies with large greenhouse gas emissions are subject to cap-and-trade regulations, also known as the carbon market. By 2030, the price of emitting a tonne of CO2e will rise from the current $20 to $170 in Canada, and possibly also in Quebec if the province does not meet its GHG reduction targets. Many companies are taking steps now to reduce emissions and control operating costs. Smaller emitters and consumers are also making important changes.
The risks are real, the pressure is on – but there is an enormous opportunity for companies who commit to building a sustainable enterprise.
Opportunities to survive and thrive
Leaders in sustainability will win the hearts and minds of customers by combining decarbonization efforts with increased digital capabilities that capitalize on technological advances. They are devising strategies to survive and thrive during and after this fundamental transition with substantive initiatives that will reduce future risk.
Consumers are supportive of companies who are committed to reducing their environmental impact. According to the 2020 study Barometer of Planet Action in Quebec, 86% of Quebeckers are more likely choose the products and services of a company that is committed to climate change initiatives, and 90% want to personally contribute to the fight against climate change.
In Quebec, the three sectors with the most at stake are transportation, construction and energy, which together represent about 700,000 Quebec workers. By taking advantage of sustainable opportunities, the energy sector – responsible for about 70% of Quebec’s greenhouse gas emissions – can anticipate significant job creation. But the time to act is now.
Having trusted data is essential for transparent reporting on environmental measures. External audit organizations document and classify companies according to their results. Five companies in Quebec exemplify best practices on reporting on environmental measures and have been ranked among the 100 most sustainable organizations by Corporate Knights: Cascades, CN, Transcontinental, Bank of Montreal, and Cogeco.
IBM is engaged in projects and sustainability conversations with these companies and others on topics such as renewable sources, improved energy efficiency and optimizing transportation.
Accelerate your journey to sustainability and profitability
As a leader in environmental stewardship, IBM’s sustainability advocacy dates back decades. Since 1990, we have published an annual corporate environmental report to disclose the company’s performance in key areas such as energy conservation, CO2 reduction efforts, and innovative environmental solutions. Recently, IBM announced a public roadmap detailing the specific steps the company will take to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
A recent IDC report (1) reveals that 81 percent of companies surveyed in Quebec believe IBM is a trustworthy company, and 79 percent say that IBM understands their company needs. Because IBM has experienced its own sustainability scars and successes firsthand, we can be a trusted partner in helping Quebec companies achieve a sustainable transformation. We can accelerate the mind-set and business model shift required to empower a resilient, profitable path forward to help you thrive today, and 100 years from now.
Lucy Baunay is a customer experience expert dedicated to helping clients create differentiated experiences through authentic interactions that generate meaningful impact on profits, people and the planet.